Michigan State enjoyed their most successful football season of all-time in 2013, finishing 13-1 after defeating Stanford (11-2) in the 100th Rose Bowl Game.
Much of that success was due in part to one of the most dominant defense in the nation. The Spartans ended the season allowing just over 13 points per game along with an average of 86 yards rushing allowed per game.
When head coach Mark Dantonio and his staff from the University of Cincinnati took over the Michigan State program in 2007, a season like this past one could have seemed impossible.
Although Dantonio had his hands full, it was defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi who perhaps had the biggest impact on the transformation of the program.
Narduzzi had a tough first few seasons until his defense broke out in the 2011 season, ranking in the top five nationally.
He followed up 2011 with building another defense in 2012 that was amongst the nation’s best.
While that dominance is great for the growth of the Michigan State program, it also attracts the attention of other programs looking to fill coaching positions of their own.
The first team to come calling was the University of Connecticut, after the firing of head coach Paul Pasqualoni midway through the Huskies’ season. After interviewing with UConn’s athletic director, Narduzzi decided that their program was not the correct fit for him.
Undoubtedly, the biggest head coaching vacancy this offseason was the University of Texas job left by legend, Mack Brown.
Former Louisville head coach Charlie Strong was hired to the Texas position, opening another prime head coaching position that needed filling.
As of a few days ago, Narduzzi was named a “finalist” for the Louisville head coaching position along with Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Western Kentucky head coach, and former Louisville head coach, Bobby Petrino.
However, sources such as Pat Forde of yahoo.com have reported today that Louisville and former coach Bobby Petrino are supposed to come to terms on a deal very soon.
This bodes well for Spartan fans.
Although the 2013 defensive unit will lose many star players, it is widely believed that Spartan fans will see another top-ranked defense in 2014 as long as Narduzzi remains Michigan State’s defensive coordinator.
With the Louisville and UConn head coaching positions being filled, it is that much more likely that Narduzzi will once again be leading the ‘Spartan Dawg’ defense in 2014.
Dan Tyler is the host of Spartan Red Zone for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports